Welcome to Week 6 of the MFRW 52-week Blog Challenge. This week’s topic is Point of View: Choices and Preferences.
Wow, is it really week 6 already?
My preference for writing is third person omniscient, from the narrator, or another character’s perspective. This for me is easier as an observer of the story that plays out in my head like a movie. Most of the time.
Roxy Sings the Blues was written primarily from a first-person perspective, because it came to me as if I were sitting in a bar, interviewing Roxanne Winters.
One thing I absolutely do NOT like is head hopping. For my personal taste in reading and writing, I understand the need to shift perspectives at times to get an idea of the other character(s) and their perspectives, their inner thoughts, and turmoil. The best way to handle this is at the beginning of chapters, or at least designated by headings.
I remember doing an edit for an author who had written their story from four different character’s perspectives. It was confusing and I said as much. The reader would have to be two pages into the chapter before they realized, oh, this is from Joe’s perspective.
The author did not like my calls and chose to ignore it, but then when they started getting bad reviews, they went back in and revised the story by adding headers at the beginning with just the character’s names. It was enough to at least understand that it was someone else speaking.
I am not complaining about the author not taking my advice, as the author it’s your choice to take edit calls OR NOT. I’ve disagreed with my editor at times on choice of word, a phrase, or expression, and even the POV.
The trick in fiction writing is to convince a reader this is real life. In real life, we only have one viewpoint—our own. We can’t step outside of ourselves and look at things from someone else’s perspective.
Well, I suppose you could, if you were constantly trying to guess what they are thinking as you talk with them but I don’t think you would establish many relations, and I think you would drive yourself insane by doing such!
For that reason, to step out of viewpoint in fiction can shatter the illusion that the author is weaving. A reader instinctively realizes something is odd. He or she may not immediately pinpoint what it is, but a good editor will. As a reader, it just feels jarring or confusing.
Most successful short fiction is written in a single viewpoint. It can be first person, which automatically eliminates head-hopping but can be confining, or it may be third person, the form most often seen. In longer fiction, like novel-length fiction, multiple or shifting POV is frequently used. But even then, a good writer only shifts POV when they also shift scenes or chapters.
One benefit to writing in first person, it can help the reader to be in the scene, to experience the world you have created and vicariously experience the emotional rollercoaster you are taking them on safely in their comfy chair. Third person can make the reader feel like an outsider or observer, at a distance.
To get the most emotional punch, I would suggest first person. If you are interested in that emotional roller coaster, I suggest you read Roxy Sings the Blues! Have tissues handy!
If you prefer third person narrative, try Red Wine & Roses for a steamy rendezvous!
A this is part of a blog hop, go check out what the other authors are saying HERE.
What POV do you prefer to read? What POV do you prefer to write?
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Life is good, the results from the pathology stated that the pots they found were benign! I am so relieved and happy. I may just do a happy dance!
Write on my friends, write on!
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